Motor Speech

What are motor speech problems?

An adult may experience a motor speech problem due to a stroke, head injury, or various diseases such as ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s or Muscular Dystrophy. These speech problems may present themselves in many different ways. Sometimes a person may note changes in the way they make certain sounds or use their voice. Sometimes they may have difficulty starting to speak or sequencing the sounds within words. The main types of motor speech problems are dysarthria and apraxia.

What are the typical assessment procedures?

The speech-language pathologist (S-LP) will ask the individual and family members/caregivers to provide information about when the condition started, how it has changed, and how it is affecting their ability to communicate during their daily routine.

The S-LP will look at the individual’s mouth, face, and neck while the person performs a variety of tasks. The individual will also be asked to repeat a variety of words, sentences and phrases to provide additional information regarding the speech problem. A computer may be used to collect information about the individual’s voice. Information about the individual’s speech will also be collected during conversation with the S-LP.

Who can be referred?

Any adult with suspected motor speech impairment may be referred.

Who can refer?

Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres has an open referral policy whereby family/caregivers, doctors and related professionals can refer an adult for motor speech services.

Click here to download a NSHSC referral form.

Who should be contacted with the referral?

Referrals and questions may be directed to your local NSHSC site.